PC shops are overcharging customers for simple laptop repair jobs, according to a new study by consumer advice publication Which? magazine.
The investigation revealed ‘poor quality repairs, aptitude and pricing from major High Street retailers and consumers paying over the odds for simple repairs’.
Which? installed a simple software fault onto 24 laptops so they wouldn’t boot up, before taking one laptop in to the in-house repair departments of six different branches of The Carphone Warehouse, Currys and PC World plus six independent shops. It also took a MacBook into six Apple stores.
The investigation found that none of the retailers’ repairers successfully fixed all of the laptops taken into their branches, and overall only 40 per cent of the laptops were repaired correctly.
Five of Which?’s mystery shoppers were charged more than £100 for a repair that ‘should have cost less than £50’ – and one branch of Currys and PC World charged more than £150.
Seven of the mystery shoppers had to buy unnecessary new hard disk drives, while one shopper lost all of their data.
In nine cases the repairers failed to fix the laptops altogether; Which? claims its own test lab was able to repair them ‘in minutes’.
Which? rated Apple four out of six for overall success, Carphone Warehouse 4.5 out of six and both independents and Currys/PC World as 1.5 out of six.
Which? editor Richard Headland said: "It’s shocking that major high street retailers are failing consumers when faced with such basic repair issues and are charging people through the nose in the process. We want to see improved staff training and repair procedures as well as fair and consistent pricing so people can be confident in the services they receive."
You can see the full findings of the Which? PC store investigation here.
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